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Need to Know: How will the Garcon-Jackson saga play out for the Redskins?

Need to Know: How will the Garcon-Jackson saga play out for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 5, 112 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL free agency starts 63
NFL draft 112
First Sunday of 2017 season 248
 

Both stay, one stays, or both go—What happens at WR?

Besides the Kirk Cousins contract saga, which we’ll address here at some point soon, the free agency talk of the town centers on the Redskins’ two veteran wide receivers. Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are both going to be free agents on March 9. They have other things in common as they both turned 30 last year and they both made big contributions to the offense with each of them gaining over 1,000 yards receiving in 2016.

Will the Redskins keep both of them? One of them? Neither of them? Let’s break out the $100 in imaginary casino chips and bet them on the chances of each of the possible scenarios coming to pass.

Both: $10 The Redskins have the cap space to pull this off. They will have around $60 million to work with, possibly more if they move on from some veterans and create more space. But each player is going to command a contract with an average annual value of at least $8-$10 million, maybe more. It simply would be bad cap management to invest some $16-$20 million a year in multiyear deals for two receivers who are over 30 years old.

Jackson only: $15 He can do things that nobody else can do. The combination of Jackson’s speed and uncanny ball-tracking ability (see the long catch in Philadelphia) makes him a unique talent. But it is starting to look like he has worn out his welcome due to his inconsistency on the field and some of his actions (and non-actions) outside the white lines. In short, he does not fit Scot McCloughan’s definition of a “football player”. There is a chance they might make a push for him if Garçon leaves and Jackson is still unsigned but it’s unlikely he’s in a Redskins uniform in 2017.

Garçon only: $40 On the other hand, Garçon was cited as an example of a “football player” by McCloughan in an interview last year. He was the model of consistency in 2016, compiling his 1,041 receiving yards while gaining under 50 yards receiving in a game just three times and going over 100 once. Garçon also is the model teammate, working hard and rarely missing practice. Despite all of that, there is a limit to how much the Redskins will pay him; there are other options to find a receiver who averages five catches per game. And while Garçon has talked of wanted to stay in the area, this is his last shot at a big contract and he may well choose to give a very small hometown discount if any at all.  

Neither: $35 I might be overplaying this a bit, having it just behind keeping Garçon only as an option. But the early chatter is that it is a real possibility. The interest in bringing back Jackson is limited and Garçon could easily be lured away. There are reports that the Redskins could be interested in Kenny Britt, who also posted 1,000 receiving yards this year and he was handicapped by playing in the Rams’ “junior high” offense. They could go with Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder as the two primary receivers and get a lower-priced free agent to work the slot. It might be a rough transition but it may be the route they will have to take.

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If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

One of the best linebackers of the last decade, Luke Kuechly retired from football this week in a move that stunned many. For years Kuechly has dealt with injuries, including multiple concussions, and decided his body could not withstand anymore life in the NFL. 

Or at least being on the field. 

A new NFL Network report suggested that Kuechly could be looking to stay in the game in a coaching or consulting role, and that it could happen this season. 

"I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Luke Kuechly in the NFL. As a player we have," Mike Garafolo said on Good Morning Football.

The natural question for Redskins fans becomes if Kuechly could land in Washington. New Redskins coach Ron Rivera was with the Panthers when the team drafted Kuechly ninth overall in 2012, and the duo worked closely together. It's been widely reported that Kuechly and Rivera have a strong relationship too. 

When Kuechly announced his retirement, Rivera took to Twitter to compare the linebacker to Hall of Famers Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Rivera also said he "will remember Luke’s sense of humor, his leadership & 4 being a great teammate."

The Redskins recently announced their assistant coaches and linebackers coach Steve Russ worked with Kuechly for the past two seasons in Carolina. There is no assistant linebackers coach on the staff, but that's a role that could be created. There are few rules about assistant coaches in the NFL; for example, last season the Redskins employed an inside linebackers coach and an outside linebackers coach because they played a 3-4 system. This year the team will play the 4-3. 

It's unclear what role Kuechly would want, and while the connection to Rivera is obvious, so is the connection to Carolina. 

"Certainly the Panthers would love to have him be a part of their organization in some capacity," Garafolo said. 

What happens next for Kuechly remains unknown. He just retired from football a few days ago. He might need time to make his next series of decisions. 

Based on Rivera's actions so far as the new Redskins boss, however, it would not be a surprise at all if the head coach tries to get Kuechly to Washington. Rivera has hired just about everyone else that was with the Panthers in the last decade; why not add one more?

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Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team underperformed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

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